We are a not-for-profit, environmentally conscious, grass-roots community association with no political affiliations, lobbying for changes to a system where Representational Democracy is failing!
We are fighting for the implementation of a whole of Locality Plan, two storey limit in Hastings Point
HP Locality Plan. Council was provided with this draft locality plan last year and 2 years prior. Council has given no response except to say in respect of its first issue that it had lost it when implementation was questioned. This is despite the fact that Council’s own written policy strategy states that it will work with communities to introduce their own locality plans.
The HP locality plan relevantly sets out the community’s intent to retain HP identity as a family beach camping holiday destination, prevent ribbon development, curb scale and density of development to maintain “beach house style for each residential and tourist precinct”, treat HP as a coastal hamlet with specific character which should be maintained, recognise the importance of the estuarial environment and its health, including protection of mangroves, tidal wetlands and littoral rainforest with appropriate zoning. HP locality Plan is the instrument that can protect the whole of HP’s character & environment
Our Grievances are best summarised by the following Questions:
1. Why is it that the people of Hastings Point have been lobbying State Government Ministers for 20 years only to be passed from department to department – pillar to post?
2. Why is it that the recommendations of the Daly Report (reporting on developer associations in Tweed Council) have not been implemented?
3. Why was it necessary for the residents of Hastings Point to conduct their own investigation into Tweed Council’s decision making processes and uncover information and processes of extreme concern?
4. Why is Tweed Council’s Senior Officer able to:
- advocate for developers on the floor of Council chambers?
- manipulate planning instruments to achieve particular outcomes?
- openly advocate for developers in the media?
- expressly discount the concerns of resident owners?
- work for months with developers to ensure their developments comply but refuse to spend half an hour posting a letter to the Dept. of Planning which would have prevented this mess by implementing Amendment 81?
5. Why is it that the Chinderah Marina has been delayed for a third time, at the request of the developer, yet adjournment refused when requested by the HP community so it could address a 100 page report on the Hastings Point Seniors Village?
6. Why is it that developers of projects at Wooyong and Kingscliff are forced to negotiate with the community for a mutually beneficial outcome, YET developers of Hastings Point Seniors Village, and others, have been allowed to simply impose their development on the community?
7. Why is it that Hastings Point Seniors Village, while determined as a ’Facility for providing elderly residents of the Tweed with affordable accommodation’, can suddenly be advertised and sold as a 5 star luxury resort?
8. Why could council planners ignore 670 objections, including residents, visitors, entire organisations representing residents of all Tweed Coast villages in addition to recommendations by its own Administrators to the Director of NSW Department of Planning, and recommendations from the Director of NSW Deparment of Planning?
9. Why is it that even in the face of all this opposition and against Tweed Council’s own written charter and strategic plans, the Council’s Senior Officer could verbally advocate for the developer of HP Seniors Villlage rather than respond to questions of legality?
10. Why is the same development consultant (acting for developers in HP) and Council’s Senior Officer able to determine the ’future character of Hastings Point’ in a manner contrary to Council’s own policies and strategies and the interests of the community and the environment.
11. Why is it that $100million in developer turnover/profit will net approx $1million in developer contributions for council, yet all existing residents get is ’inconvenience’ by:
- being forced to pay higher rates to cover the gap in infrastructure cost
- having to tolerate ’hoon’ builders and tradesmen who have been imported from interstate to work on these projects
- having to tolerate the stench of dewatering and sewerage for weeks and months on end having vast increases in traffic, garbage, and crime.
12. Why are decisions being made which will ultimately destroy a prized environmental asset of the Tweed Shire contrary to policy and law.
…because Local Councils can avoid real community consultation despite the fact that the Minister can force developers to not only consult with the community, but to also negotiate outcomes.
…because Local Councils can completely ignore any objections raised by the community knowing that the community cannot appeal the ‘merits’ of developments in Court while developers can. The ‘system’, including the legislation, is weighted ridiculously in favour of developers!
…because the only chance the community has is if its Council actually listens and acts in the interests of the community which elects it and actually follows and implements policy and laws correctly. Unfortunately, this is uncommon and manipulation to achieve results contrary to the intentions of planning instruments is rife.
All we are asking is that the Council and Government Departments no longer pass the buck & do what they recommend!